tv [untitled] January 1, 2011 11:30am-12:00pm PDT
i'm the president of friends of mclaren park. it is one of the oldest neighborhood community park groups in san francisco. i give a lot of tours through the park. during those tours, a lot of the folks in the group will think of the park as very scary. it has a lot of hills, there's a lot of dense groves. once you get towards the center of the park you really lose your orientation. you are very much in a remote area. there are a lot of trees that shield your view from the urban setting. you would simply see different groves that gives you a sense of freedom, of being outdoors, not being burdened by the worries of city life. john mclaren had said that
golden gate park was too far away. he proposed that we have a park in the south end of the city. the campaign slogan was, people need this open space. one of the things that had to open is there were a lot of people who did a homestead here, about 25 different families. their property had to be bought up. so it took from 1928 to 1957 to buy up all the parcels of land that ended up in this 317 acres. the park, as a general rule, is heavily used in the mornings and the evenings. one of the favorite places is up by the upper reservoir because dogs get to go swim. it's extremely popular. many fights in the city, as you know, about dogs in parks. we have 317 acres and god knows there's plenty of room for both of us. man and his best friend. early in the morning people
before they go to work will walk their dogs or go on a jog themselves with their dogs. joggers love the park, there's 7 miles of hiking trails and there's off trail paths that hikers can take. all the recreational areas are heavily used on weekends. we have the group picnic area which should accommodate 200 people, tennis courts are full. it also has 3 playground areas. the ampitheater was built in 1972. it was the home of the first blues festival. given the fact that jerry garcia used to play in this park, he was from this neighborhood, everybody knows his reputation. we thought what a great thing it would be to have an ampitheater named after jerry garcia. that is a name that has panache.
it brings people from all over the bay area to the ampitheater. the calls that come in, we'd like to do a concert at the jerry garcia ampitheater and we do everything we can to accommodate them and help them because it gets people into the park. people like a lot of color and that's what they call a park. other people don't. you have to try to reconcile all those different points of view. what should a park look like and what should it have? should it be manicured, should it be nice little cobblestones around all of the paths and like that. the biggest objective of course is getting people into the park to appreciate open space. whatever that's going to take to make them happy, to get them there, that's the main goal. if it takes a planter with flowers and stuff like that, fine. you know, so what? people need to get away from that urban rush and